Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Seizure of $1.4 million of Oxycodone at Otay Mesa Port of Entry is Largest Along Southwest Border in Five Years

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SAN DIEGO – Adriana Morfin-Paniagua, a United States citizen living in Mexico, was arrested yesterday and charged with importing approximately 47,340 tablets of oxycodone in the largest seizure of what is believed to be oxycodone along the Southwest Border in at least five years. The street value of these tablets is approximately $1,420,000 dollars.

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, on March 8, 2017, Morfin-Paniagua entered the United States at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry as the driver and sole occupant of a 1999 Honda Accord. Following a secondary inspection of the Honda Accord, Custom and Border Protection Officials located thirty packages containing the oxycodone tablets inside a hidden, non-factory compartment.

These tablets have an illegal street value of $30 to $40 per tablet. At $30 each, the street value of 47,340 tablets is $1,420,200.00 dollars. When drugs are seized at the border, they are tested in the field, and these pills tested positive as oxycodone. The drugs are then forensically tested in a DEA lab to confirm those findings. Those tests can take about a week or sometimes more.

Morfin-Paniagua was subsequently charged with a violation of Title 21, United States Code, 952 and 960, importation of a controlled substance, and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

“This is one of the biggest seizures of oxycodone at a San Diego port of entry,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson. “Every pill we seize is one that we keep out of the mouths of abusers who are on a path to destruction.”

“HSI San Diego is committed to fully investigating criminal activity linked to the transnational movement of counterfeit pharmaceuticals,” said James Plitt, acting special agent in charge for HSI San Diego. “Our agents will continue to work diligently with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners to counter this type of criminal activity.”

Morfin-Paniagua made her first appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jan Adler.

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